Association Responding to COVID-19.

 
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As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to grip the world, the National Defense Industrial Association is undertaking numerous initiatives to support its member base at this uncertain time.

The association recently launched a small business survey to gauge how companies were being affected by COVID-19. According to the survey, the coronavirus crisis will hit small businesses most in their revenues, their ability to carry out contracts and their access to capital.

"We are particularly unsure about how long this will last and, the longer it lasts, the less confident we are that we will be able to recoup the revenue," one respondent said. This disrupts "our ability to provide full-time pay and meet our regular expenses."

As of late March, 458 small businesses responded to the brief, confidential survey. Of those respondents, 55 percent are businesses with less than $5 million in annual revenue and 70 percent have less than 50 employees.

Challenges survey respondents cited are access to secure work facilities, workforce availability, clear information from the Defense Department, access to contracting officers and confidence in supply-chain partners. Availability of and cost of materials are their least concerns.

When asked what would be most helpful to mitigate negative impacts, respondents rated flexibility on contract performance, followed by accelerated payments from DoD and prime contractors, short-term loans and additional performance guidance.

Survey results are available at https://bit.ly/3bX4mkS. The results were presented to officials from the Defense Department's office of the undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment. NDIA is part of regular discussions with the office on obstacles the defense industrial base faces with COVID-19 response and how to best resolve them.

"This survey shows how the defense lifeline runs through small business," said Hawk Carlisle, NDIA's...

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